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FALL 2012 • Scene



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table of contents

departments 15 The Insider Must-haves for the small set for school, study and fun. By Stephanie Simons

17 Indulge Conflict-free diamonds can be a – good – girl’s best friend. By Leslie Harlib

22 Shop Talk High-end consignment shopping. By Jennifer Shaw. Photos by Stuart Lirette and Nikki Ritcher.



29 Beauty Report A new treatment to lose cellulite – maybe forever. By Crystal Chow

62 Home & Design

fashion 34 A New Direction

Eco-friendly fireplaces. By Carolyn Snyder

67 In the Garden

Fall’s twists and turns meld classics with futurist details. By Donna Kato. Photos by Chad Riley.

Icons 46 A Woman of Words Smarts, hard work and family biz experience have boosted Julia Flynn Siler’s books to best sellers. By Pamela Feinsilber. Photos by Stuart Lirette.

Go vertical. By Joan Jackson

71 Getaways Splendid Santa Barbara. By Katharine Fong Plus: Cambria wineries. By Bonnie Wach

80 The Bottom Line

Beauty reviews you’ll want to read.

81 Seen Big shots around town.

Serghei Platonov/iStockphoto/Thinkstock

WOMEN & WINE 51 Build a Wine Wardrobe Like the essential “little black dress,” a few go-to wines let you create your signature style. By Leslie Sbrocco

53 Perfect Pairs Recipes that pair with the wines you love. By Jill Silverman Hough

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editor’s note

The games kids —  and grown-ups — play

Katharine Fong Editor & Publisher

Rebecca Hall Lucero Art Director

Crystal Chow Melinda Sacks Stephanie Simons Julia Prodis Sulek Bonnie Wach Contributing Writers Jose Carlos Fajardo Nikki Ritcher Contributing Photographers Rebecca Parr Copy Editor Scene Magazine Vol. 4, No. 2 Copyright 2012 by the Bay Area News Group. All rights reserved. Material herein may not be reprinted without expressed written consent of the publisher. Make contact: Email: Scene@ Address: 750 Ridder Park Drive, San Jose, CA 95190 Twitter: SceneBayArea Pinterest: SceneBayArea


Go to, or contact Rick Raker at rraker@ or 925.945.4781.

Josie Lepe

Donna Kato Contributing Fashion & Beauty Editor

We had fun figuring out what to include in our look at kids’ stuff (“Kiddin’ Around,” Page 15). At one point we thought of mentioning the hot new videogame or gaming app, but the choices were somewhat overwhelming. And, truthfully, it clashed with my feeling that gaming — even educational — is not necessarily to be encouraged over, say, going outside to play. Yes, I’m a mother who often has difficulty prying electronic devices out of her 7- and 9-year-olds’ hands. Then I heard about the new Games, Learning and Assessment (GLASS) Lab in Redwood City. The folks behind GLASS understand that digital media have revolutionized the way kids learn and acquire knowledge, and that gaming, in particular, can teach creative problem solving, collaboration and mastery of new technologies. GLASS will study and modify popular games and develop new ones, integrating state educational standards and measuring learning in real-time. Funded by $10.3 million from the MacArthur and the Bill & Melinda Gates foundations, and the gaming industry, GLASS will make its products available to students, school districts and families. Knowing that gaming can engage and educate kids with skills critical for college and career makes me feel better, though it’s still no substitute for fresh air and a good game of soccer. But enough about kids — let’s talk about us! Our fashion layout (“Shape Shifters,” Page 34) reflects designers’ move into uncharted territory, to paraphrase editor Donna Kato. Fall 2012 offers up tailored classics with sculptural, futuristic twists — as if the Edwardian styles in “Downton Abbey” were shot through a sci-fi portal. And check out “The LBDs of Wine,” Page 51, by our columnist and Thirsty Girl founder Leslie Sbrocco. Leslie tells you exactly what basics you need to build a fabulously versatile and tasty wine wardrobe, from “the crisp white shirt” of Sauvignon Blanc to the “sexy satin” of Pinot Noir. Her recommendations are complemented perfectly with a few recipes by Napa-based food and wine writer Jill Silverman Hough, author of two cookbooks that pair main dishes and small plates “with wines you love.” Enjoy, and let us know what you think. We raise a glass to fall.

Katharine Fong Editor & Publisher

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Pamela Feinsilber (“A Woman of Words,” Page 46) has worked as a writer and magazine editor in the Bay Area for too many years to count. She is now a freelance book editor and writing consultant, and contributing writer to San Francisco magazine. She lives in Larkspur with her husband Jerry Stark and dog Sophie.

Raised in Lemon Cove, Calif., Chad Riley (“Shape Shifters,” Page 34) studied photography at the Brooks Institute, then moved to NYC and worked with Annie Leibovitz before striking out on his own. He has shot for Vanity Fair, Wired, Vogue and – after relocating to San Francisco in 2009 – Apple and San Francisco magazine. A new father, he competes in Ironman Triathlons.

Nikki Ritcher (“Treasure Hunt,” Page 22), a Colorado native, studied photography at Savannah College of Art & Design. She was sole photographer for various publications in the Southeast before moving to the Bay Area, where she pursues commercial work and wedding photography.

Wine expert, author and TV host Leslie Sbrocco (“The LBDs of Wine,” Page 51) is founder of, a community for women with a passion for wine, food and travel. In addition to hosting the KQED series “Check Please!” she is a regular guest on the “Today” show and is a sought-after speaker and wine judge.

scene David M. Rounds President & Publisher Marin Independent Journal Erika Brown Marketing Director Bay Area News Group Dianne Provenzano Retail Sales & Marketing Manager Marin Independent Journal Timothy Tsun and Ad Services Advertising Design Bay Area News Group For advertising information, call 415.382.7254. Copyright 2012 Bay Area News Group


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On your Mark, get set! Kids 10 and up are hotly awaiting the release of “The Mark of Athena,” which hits stores Oct. 2. The book completes best-selling author Rick Riordan’s “Heroes of Olympus” trifecta (OK, we’re counting Riordan as a local because he used to teach in the Bay Area). Spoiler alert: Annabeth and Percy are together at last, as are the seven demigods of the prophecy. $11,

“I want my Mimi!”

Piperlime — the SF fashion website opening its first women’s apparel store in NYC this season — aces back-to-school cool with an edited selection of itty bitty Vans (pictured here), in addition to styles by Adidas, Minnetonka, Hunter, Sperry Topsider and more. $35,

Palo Alto-based LunchBots’ healthy and environmentfriendly food containers (sans chemicals from plastic) promise to make food more appetizing and come home from school empty. Handy dividers, high quality stainless steel and punch-bright colors make average lunch pails truly pale by comparison. $19.99, LunchBots. com

kiddin’ around

Mimi the Sardine locally manufactured, Swedish-designed products are built for lil’ spills. Every cute-as-pie backpack, bib and apron is machine-washable and ecocoated without harmful chemicals. $14.95$38.95,

Everything the younger set is craving now By Stephanie Simons

Wee want more… When it comes to all-natural body care, TruKid is not to be missed. The homegrown collection, headquartered in Oakland, includes jumbosize bubbly body wash ($32), silly shampoo ($32), plus familysize SPF 30 sunscreen that’s totally safe for baby’s sensitive skin ($75).

Not surprisingly, there’s a lot of super-sweet kids’ stuff going on in the Bay Area, including gear and goods for all ages – from Mimi the Sardine in Corte Madera to TruKid in the East Bay to LunchBots on the Peninsula. On our list: KIDS continues on Page 80

Notorious B.A.G. Dress up their bedrooms with ultra-modern (and dare we say best-looking-ever) beanbags. A smaller spinoff of the Fatboy Original for grownups, the Fatboy Junior makes the perfect lounger or mattress for sleeping. $159, at the SF-based online retailer

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SARA’S LIST This Marin based website launched this past Spring, is the perfect place to buy and sell higher end, pre-owned furniture and decorative accents. Want that Ralph Lauren sofa but don’t want to pay tons of money? Find it pre-owned on

ARTRAGEOUS GALLERY ARTRAGEOUS Gallery is located in Scenic Old Town Novato. A vibrant ongoing exhibit of paintings, sculpture, jewelry and mixed media artwork by established and emerging artists from the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Featured Artists: Roberta Ahrens, Sonia Melnikova-Raich, Feng Jin. Please visit our website at ART-RAGEOUSGALLERY.COM for information on Art Happens. 857 Grant Avenue Novato, Ca 94945 415.897.8444 ART-RAGEOUSGALLERY.COM Email:


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fair gems The Cascade matched set from Brilliant Earth, inspired by the sea. In 18K white gold or platinum, from $2,275.

Conflict-free diamonds can be a good girl’s best friend Conflict-free diamonds are hot. “People ask for them,” says Lori Brooke, manager of Alix & Company Fine Jewelry in Mill Valley. “It’s definitely a trend.” Books and movies — Leonardo DiCaprio’s “Blood Diamond,” for example — have fueled global concern over where diamonds come from as well as how they are mined. Fortunately, you can now buy stones and settings that are not only stunning, but also will make you proud to wear them. Keep these points in mind: By Leslie Harlib

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Koala brooch of diamonds, pink sapphires, tsvorites and onyx in 18K yellow and white gold, Tiffany & Co., $75,000.

Lucida® diamond pendant and ring in platinum, Tiffany & Co., price upon request.

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Quadra shaped band of recycled palladium set with a one carat, environmentally friendly synthetic yellow diamond, Alix & Company, from $7,550.


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Look for diamonds certified by The Kimberley Process, an effort among governments, industry and broader society to halt the flow of “conflict diamonds” — used by rebel movements to finance wars against legitimate governments. As of 2012, 50 participants representing 76 countries have signed on. Some jewelers specialize in conflict-free diamonds. Others are happy to provide supporting information. Says Cherl Spitz, owner of Spitz Jewelers in Walnut Creek, “Consumers can ask for a guarantee that the diamonds have been tracked from site holder to cutter to seller to retailer.”

indulge Consider laboratory-made stones. Diamond-growing technology has been around for 50 years, but the ability to create gem-quality stones is a recent achievement. The best of these have brilliance, and even colors, comparable to mined diamonds, yet cost from one-quarter to one-tenth the price. Eco-friendly settings for your jewels are a glam alternative. Brilliant Earth, which sells only Canadian as well as Namibian and Botswana diamonds mined, cut and polished with fair labor practices, uses recycled gold and platinum in settings to great effect.

3 4

Lazare Tesoro diamond ring or band available in platinum or 18K white gold. Ring: .26 total carat weight, 7 stones. Band: .18-.23 total carat weight, 10 stones. Spitz Jewelers, from $10,000.

Leaflet and droplet eternity bands, available in recycled white and yellow 18K gold or recycled 14K rose gold, Alix & Company, from $2,200.

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Make a long-term commitment: The Bay Area-based Clarity Project creates and sells fine jewelry that is also ecologically and socially sustainable. Founded in 2009 by three childhood friends and entrepreneurs, it works directly with nonprofits to improve quality of life for gem miners and their families.

Leaf and vine band in recycled 18K white gold. Set with a rose-cut diamond of approximately one carat and at least .40 carats of diamond pavé. Alix & Company, from $10,100.

Vivid pink diamond ring in 18K white gold; custom designs available with various center stone options, Lustre Precious Gems, from $8,000.




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Artisan ring, hammered bezel, shown with .7 ct stone in 18K Fair Trade yellow gold, The Clarity Project, from $3,000.

indulge Pear-shaped, 18K white gold teardrop earrings, 1/2 total carat weight. Brilliant Earth, $1,475.

resources Alix & Company, Mill Valley, Brilliant Earth, San Francisco, The Clarity Project, virtual company with offices in Santa Clara and Los Angeles, as well as Sierra Leone, Lustre Precious Gems, Westfield Valley Fair, Santa Clara, Platinum double bail fourprong pendant with Canadian diamond, on a delicate cable chain. Brilliant Earth, from $1,300.

Spitz Jewelers, Walnut Creek, Tiffany & Co., stores throughout the Bay Area,

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Locally, Family Owned Since 1986 5860 Paradise Drive, Corte Madera • FALL 2012 • Scene


They’ve got the goods: Photos from Diamonds in the Rough, Encore, Stella’s Fine Consignments and Vicki’s Secret.


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shop talk

High-end consignment shops change the way we indulge our designer crush

Treasure hunt What’s not to like about big-name designer pieces, some barely worn, for a fraction of retail? Combing the racks for that one-of-a-kind jacket or must-have red-carpet gown is part of the thrill of consignment shopping, sure. But once you’re a regular, shop owners can keep an eye out for items that elevate your personal style. A few of our faves: By Jennifer Shaw Photos by Stuart Lirette and Nikki Ritcher FALL 2012 • Scene





4 EASY WAYS TO BUY Online: Phone: 888-746-1799 PRESS 1

In Person: Orpheum Theatre Box Office, check for hours Groups (15+): 888-746-1799 PRESS 3 24

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© Disney

shop talk

Stella’s fine consignments Anna and Laura Psaila’s beloved paternal grandmother, Stella, an immigrant from Malta, had a penchant for shopping and a good eye for detail. Her influence, along with the sisters’ thrift-shop expertise acquired while growing up in a large family in Woodacre, led them to open their shop in June 1999. Stella’s has amassed a group of 2,000 consigners who bring in items that would make its stylish namesake proud. Perfect for: The browser hunting for treasure in a friendly, no-pressure space. Ambience: A white-framed chalkboard features ever-changing inspirational/motivational words, such as “Let Go Let Light Let Love Let Live.” Clothes hang from jade-colored poles, a vintage hatbox brims with luxe goodies, and a framed antique mirror reflects the regulars called in by the Psailas to try on items that are good fits in every way. Quotable: “You want a little something to brighten your day,” says Laura Psaila of the chalkboard and her store in general. “Sometimes there’s champagne if you come at the right time.” Labels: Coach, Paige denim, Bottega Venetta, Calypso, Calleen Cordero, Diane von Furstenberg, Dior, James Perse, Vince, Rebecca Taylor. 224 Greenfield Ave. #3, San Anselmo, 415.453.6191, Nikki Ritcher

119-A Kentucky Street, Historic Downtown Petaluma • 707-766-8519 • FALL 2012 • Scene


Diamonds in the Rough Sybil Mayfield has always followed the latest trends in fashion, and always “had a passion for the eco-friendly aspect” of consignment, she says. In 2006, she and husband Zach found their niche for reselling what’s current and contemporary just off Mill Valley’s beaten path. Perfect for: Women who like a blend of classy and edgy, teens looking for prom wear and “the everyday gal who wants to be chic,” Mayfield says. Ambience: A print of Marilyn Monroe on the wall looks down on shoppers browsing the racks. Her sultry essence defines the tworoom space, appointed with Tiffany lamps and dressing rooms with custom mosaic walls. Dresses can be found for as little as $10, though you could pay $1,500 for a Chanel bag. High-end shoes include the likes of Prada, Michael Kors and Manolo Blahnik. Quotable: There are no knock-offs. “If it’s here, it’s real. You can tell; the zippers work like butter,” Mayfield says. Labels: Burning Torch, hard to find items by Cop-Copine, Free People, Gucci, Louis Vuitton; premium denim from Citizens of Humanity, Hudson, Joe’s Jeans, 7 For All Mankind and True Religion. Nikki Ritcher

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Introductory Offer and Consultation: FREE BITEWING & Exam plus 1/2 Off power bleaching program.

shop talk

Encore Encore attracts upscale women who “just like the thrill of the find,” says proprietor Linda Hensley. A Marin County native, Hensley has owned the business for 29 years. She’s also been part of the consignment scene from the time it was “a dirty little word” till now, when its status has become “vogue, green and mainstream.” Perfect for: Women seeking a signature stunner for the Academy Awards or chic ensembles for a trip to Paris, as the website says. Encore also carries tailored career wear, and on any given day everything from Chanel skirts to Prada sweaters to Marni handbags. Ambience: Brightly lit, with upbeat music. The hand-picked clothes and accessories are in excellent condition (some still with original price tags) and not more than two years from the date of initial purchase. Hensley says the offerings are “not just upper end,” pointing to selections from labels such as Banana Republic and Anthropologie. Quotable: “I love that it’s about the ladies,” she says. “I get ideas on books to read, doctors, healthy drinks…It’s a woman’s place.” Labels: Anne Fontaine, Dolce & Gabbana, Donna Karan, Ferré, Gucci, Valentino, Jimmy Choo, Christian Louboutin, Missoni, Kate Spade, premium denim labels. 11 Mary St., San Rafael, 415.456.7309, Nikki Ritcher

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shop talk

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Stuart Lirette

Say goodbye to muffin tops.

Vicki’s Secret After years of retail experience, Jan Mettner bought Vicki’s Secret almost nine years ago. The “secret,” she says, is the way you can spend less without sacrificing top quality. Perfect for: Hollywood glitterati (while not naming names, Mettner says several celebrities consistently consign and shop at her store); women chasing down designer gowns for opening night at the opera; travelers in search of formal cruise wear. Ambience: The shop’s appealing blend of rustic brick and modern fixtures showcases well-curated pieces, from a $20 shell to $6,000 Hermes handbags. Dresses run $45 to $2,000; items are in current season and no more than two years old. Mettner and her associate Carol Maniscalco serve as personal shoppers for loyal customers. “It’s like dressing up Barbie, only with real people,” Mettner says. Quotable: The boutique’s family feel, says Maniscalco, describing the sharing of hugs, humor and tears, is like “Cheers without the alcohol.” Labels: Jean-Paul Gaultier; a large collection of Japanese designers, including Yohji Yamamoto; clothes by Chanel (100 or more pieces at any given time), Jil Sander, Carolina Herrera, Marni, Prada, Versace; premium denim, including Joe’s, Miss Me and True Religion; and Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs and Lambertson Truex handbags. 108 Petaluma Blvd., N. Petaluma, 707.765.2807,

beauty report

so long, cellulite Cellulaze promises to banish that lumpy look – possibly forever By Crystal Chow

Maris Zemgalietis/iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Whatever the shape of your figure — whether goddess or zaftig or something in between — cellulite is likely a frustrating fixture. Only about 15 percent of women escape the scourge of bumpy, lumpy skin on their buttocks and thighs. It even shows up on our arms and stomach. Unfortunately, that cottage cheese or orange peel texture can form as early as one’s teen years. But good news, ladies: Cellulite may finally have met its match. In January, a laser called Cellulaze received the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in correcting

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Scene • FALL 2012 

the three causes of cellulite: bulging fat, skin laxity and the connective fibers that pull skin down to form those dreaded dimples. Cellulaze, according to its maker, Cynosure, “reduces cellulite by restoring the normal structure of the skin and the underlying connective tissue.” Thanks to its extraordinary promise, people like board-certified dermatologist Dr. William Ting of San Ramon are happy to offer Cellulaze, especially given the FDA’s imprimatur. “There is a straightforward formula that every surgeon has to adhere to,’’ he says. “The protocol is very stringent.” Moreover, according to Dr. Daryl K. Hoffman, a board-certified plastic surgeon with offices in Palo Alto and Los Gatos, what’s revolutionary is that “not only does Cellulaze change the anatomy, it’s done in just one treatment. With other cellulite treatments, the effect is short-lived and once you stop doing them, the improvement in appearance goes away.’’ During the procedure, which involves local anesthesia and a few small incisions, a laser fiber is inserted under the skin, gently heating it and melting the fat. Next, the laser releases the fibrous bands that create dimpling and, finally, it stimulates collagen production to increase skin elasticity. Because Cellulaze is so new, Cynosure is able to tout results — based on almost four years of clinical research — as lasting only at least one year. However, many physicians already are claiming that benefits can endure far longer since the root causes of cellulite are addressed. “In plastic surgery, nothing is permanent,’’ Hoffman says, “but I think the changes that are created here are really long-lasting and stable. Once you improve it, you have a whole new baseline. You’ve corrected some of the anatomical

problems that cause cellulite.’’ Just don’t be in too big a hurry to see a noticeable gain. “Sometimes it can actually look worse after a month than it did before treatment,’’ Hoffman warns. This is because skin thickening doesn’t take place until collagen has had time to grow, a process that takes about three months. He also cautions patients to expect a lot of bruising “because we’re working right beneath the skin, disrupting little varicose veins.’’ “The best results are seen at three months, and will continue to get better up to one year,” Ting says. “Most of my patients are satisfied four weeks afterwards.” The best candidate for Cellulaze, according to Ting, is someone looking to be rid of the rippling on her buttocks and thighs – not a reduction in body size. A patient with “saddlebags,” for example, is better off opting for SmartLipo, which gets rid of localized pockets of fat. Dr. Fred Suess, a board-certified plastic surgeon with offices in Walnut Creek and San Francisco, says that liposuction can be performed in an area of the body treated with Cellulaze, just not at the same time. He says ideal Cellulaze candidates “are healthy, do not have stretch marks in the area with cellulite, and should be within 20 pounds of their normal weight.”

Courtesy of Dr. Mario Diana, MD via

beauty report

Before and after: Cottage-cheese rippling is smoothed out with Cellulaze.

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beauty report

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For his part, Hoffman says a prospective patient “needs to have appropriate expectations. Cellulaze will improve skin and get rid of dimples, but it won’t be night and day.’’ The procedure itself takes approximately two hours for one area, such as the backs of both thighs. Although it’s possible to go to work the day after, every patient must wear compression garments for several weeks. In addition to heavy bruising, there could be swelling and various degrees of discomfort. Because no suction is involved, one possible serious side effect is seroma, where fluid collects under the skin and may need to be drained afterward. So, what’s the price of being able to strut around fearlessly in a bikini and not worry about closeups? About $5,000, depending on the area to be improved. Figure an area to be the size of your hand, times two, which would take care of the cellulite on, say, the outer thighs. For an in-depth look at what Cellulaze entails, check out RealSelf (, “a community dedicated to helping people make the right health and beauty choices,’’ according to its website. Patients share diary-type revelations about their experiences, the good and the bad, plus before-and-after photos. Out of 69 reviews from across the country as of this writing, the procedure got a 94 percent positive rating. Bottom line (no pun intended), the early outlook on Cellulaze is highly encouraging, even without the knowledge of long-term results — although studies are being readied for submission to peerreviewed medical journals. In the meantime, practitioners such as Ting are already on board in a big way. “This may be the holy grail we’ve been chasing for decades,’’ he says.

FALL 2012 • Scene




shifters Fall’s twists and turns meld classics with futurist details Rare is the moment when fashion comes to a fork in the road, pauses for a season and decides to take the unpaved path. We’re about to take that decidedly critical turn for fall 2012. The new direction melds Edwardian elements with futurist details. What could have looked like period pieces on the runways Continues on Page 43

By Donna Kato Photography by Chad Riley


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Strong colors, wasp waists and clean lines: Above, Stella McCartney peplum dress, $925, Neiman Marcus; Vintage charm bracelet, $195, Alina B., Walnut Creek; Kate Spade faceted clip earrings, $78, Bloomingdale’s. Diane von Furstenberg Oka fitted dress in red, $465, Neiman Marcus. FALL 2012 • Scene


Daringly bare yet structural: Herve Leger one-shoulder dress in cool grays, $1,590, Nordstrom; Debbie Merle Designs charm bracelets in agate and Austrian crystals, $58 each, and agate drop earrings, $38, all Nordstrom.

A shapely dress defines fall’s sculpted silhouettes: Alexander McQueen dress with shaped shoulders and fringe detailing, $3,645, and python clutch with sculpted closure, $1,995, both Neiman Marcus; Miu Miu suede peep toe shoes with sculpted heel, $750, Nordstrom; Carolee Lux tassel earrings, $65, Bloomingdale’s.

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Separates that transition from late summer to the chilly months ahead: Ted Baker leather jacket, $640, Ted Baker, Santana Row; Rachel Comey collage skirt with transparent panels, $395, and ALC Italian waffle crepe top, $325, both Crimson Mim, Palo Alto and Los Altos; Linea Pelle harness belt, $195, Alina B, Walnut Creek; Donald J. Pliner slingback wedges, $225, Donald J. Pliner, Santana Row; Lauren by Ralph Lauren gold hoop earrings, $30, Nordstrom.


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Street style translated into urban sophistication: Marni mad plaid sweater, $610, Nordstrom; Gary Graham herringbone jacket, $695, cropped trousers, $495, both Crimson Mim, Los Altos and Palo Alto; Via Spiga oxfords, $198, Bloomingdale’s; Tory Burch geometric earrings, $145, Nordstrom.

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Classics never fade, they’re just reinvented: Burberry wool trench coat, $1,295, and Chanel “Jodhpur” boots in black and silver, $1,595, both Nordstrom; Alice+Olivia “Harriett” knit dress, $368, Neiman Marcus; Kate Spade faceted clip earrings, $78, Bloomingdale’s.


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Dramatic and sexy can also be cozy: Missoni wrap coat, $2,530, Neiman Marcus; Gucci suede boots, $1,250, Nordstrom; Carolee Lux faceted stone necklace, $175, Bloomingdale’s. Marc Jacobs Manhattan Tribeca colorblock satchel, $1,450, Nordstrom.

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Unexpected combinations: Alina + Nicoletta cropped puffer jacket, $398, and Room #13 leather bracelets, $139, both Alina B., Walnut Creek; Alice + Olivia leather skirt, $396, Neiman Marcus; “Little Feather” Yoana Baraschi scarf, $155, yoanabaraschi. com; Stuart Weitzman leopard and horsehair clutch, Stuart Weitzman stores, Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto and Westfield Valley Fair in San Jose.


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fashion Continued from Page 34

instead had an edgy, modern appeal – as if the elongated proportions, controlled volume and sculptured tailoring of “Downton Abbey” shot through a sci-fi portal to emerge with attitude and power. Strong, extended shoulders and exuberant silhouettes that emphasize the narrowness of a waist and the rounded curves of hips may seem overscale and overly exaggerated but oddly, it’s a combination that translates into strong femininity. Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney and other bold designers know that modern women want both, and deliver it in deliberate contradictions of elegance and whimsy, softness and street edge.


Makeup: Joli de Jackie, Hair: Tricia Turner, Artist Untied, Photo assistance: Cera Hensley, Christophe Tomatis Models: Adair H., LOOK Model Agency; Brandilyn Tebo, Stars Model Management Attitude and power: For details, see Page 35.





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a woman of words Smarts, hard work and family biz experience boosted Julia Flynn Siler’s books to best sellers By Pamela Feinsilber Photos by Stuart Lirette

Life is sweet for author Julia Flynn Siler. Her wellreceived second book, “Lost Kingdom: Hawaii’s Last Queen, the Sugar Kings, and America’s First Imperial Adventure,” came out this past January, so she’s already done the big media push around it (bookstore readings, radio interviews, lectures in Hawaii). The paperback version will be out early next year. Better yet, she’s already mulling over her next book. But right now, “the family is getting a lot of attention,” says Siler, who lives in Ross with her husband, Charlie Siler, an editor for Bloomberg News, and their two sons, Cody, 16, and Andrew, 14. When you’re a journalist, especially one who travels to research or enrich a story, that can’t always be the case. These days, though, life seems well in balance – so much so that two years ago, the Silers added a small black Lab guide dog named Darice to the household. She came to them through Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, and Julia is officially considered her custodian: Darice, now 3, leaves home for weeks at a time while she’s being bred and nursing new pups. But when her breeding days are over, “I think I’ll have first dibs at adopting her,” Siler says. Every writer needs a dog like Darice. While Siler was

working on her book, “I spent months and months in my home office, and she was always at my feet. She’s my therapy dog,” she says. “As the boys get older, it’s nice to have her to take care of.” Family dynamics have been essential in shaping her work. Siler grew up in Ross, attending Ross Middle School and The Branson School, a private high school also in Ross. Her mother, Roberta Grant Flynn, was a writer, too (she studied at Stanford with Wallace Stegner), whose tales were published in outlets such as Amazing Stories magazine. Her father, Donald Flynn, was a lawyer who went on to invest in real estate and restaurants, eventually with Siler’s brother, Greg. Siler got a bachelor’s degree in American Civilization from Brown University, then became a fact checker for American Lawyer magazine. “My dad had wanted me to go to law school,” she says, “and this job helped me decide that I didn’t want to be a lawyer, but I liked writing about the law. I worked with many illustrious writers. James B. Stewart – one of the most famous business writers in the country – worked there. “This was in the ’80s – all of a sudden business reporting took off, and there was a series of good narrative

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Julia Flynn Siler with son Cody. She’s able to spend more time with family now, though it hasn’t always been that way. “I think it’s all a tradeoff,” Siler says of work-life balance. “I don’t know anyone who gets it exactly right.”

books about the business world, like Stewart’s ‘Den of Thieves’ and Michael Lewis’ first book, ‘Liar’s Poker,’ about his experiences as a bond trader at Salomon Brothers. I decided I wanted to be a girl reporter, so I went to Columbia Journalism School.” After that, Siler got a job as an intern at the Orange County Register, which is where she met her husband. “There were still all these incredible financial scandals going on,” she says happily. “Then I got a lucky break. I was hired by the L.A. bureau of BusinessWeek, and the bureau chief, Stewart Toy, took me under his wing.” She stayed with the magazine for a decade, moving from its offices in Los Angeles to Chicago, where Siler also took evening classes at Northwestern toward a master’s in business administration. In 1993, the couple moved to London, where Charlie got a job with Bloomberg News and Siler became the Wall Street Journal’s European management correspondent and finished work on her master’s degree. Both of their sons were born in London, where the family remained until 2000, when they moved back to Marin (the boys with impeccable British accents). By then, her parents were divorced, but that year, they both needed her: Her mother’s health was failing, and her father wanted Siler to join the family business. Her sister, Jennifer, an artist, was in New York, but “I was more business-oriented,” Siler says. “We all realized my dad needed to retire, but it was difficult because he had been the founder of the business, and it was hard to give up the reins. With the help of a family business adviser, we worked through the issues, and my brother took over. I’m glad I was there to help with the transition, especially because my dad died soon after.” When Siler went back to work, as a contributing writer, for the Journal, one of her first stories was on the Mondavi wine family.


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where to catch julia Aug. 9-12 Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference On the faculty, along with Susan Orlean, Spud Hilton and many other travel writers. 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, 415.927.0960, Sept. 5 Metropolitan Club Reception, book talk, signing and dinner. 640 Sutter St., San Francisco, 415.673.0600, Sept. 20 Town & Country Club Book talk, signing and lunch. 218 Stockton St., San Francisco, 415.362.4951 Oct. 5 Litquake: Round the World in Six Books Literary-festival panel, Variety Preview Room Theatre, 582 Market St., San Francisco,

Moving the famed Napa winery’s leadership from Robert, the patriarch, to the next generation was proving extremely difficult, and the oldest son, Michael, had just been removed as chairman. Working through similar problems with the Flynn family business, Siler says, “made me more sensitive to the issues confronting the Mondavi family. Robert Mondavi was a brilliant marketer, though, and it was very difficult for his sons to fill his shoes. [In my family’s case,] my brother was brilliant at business; today he’s one of the most successful businessmen in Northern California. Our families are close, and we spend holidays together. I’m really proud of the fact that we made it all the way through the transition so well. “I might not have found the Mondavis’ story so compelling if I had not gone through that experience,” she adds. “I really dove into that story.” When her front-page story ran in 2004, a publisher contacted her and put in a preemptive bid: She had her first book contract, with Gotham Books. “The story was unfolding as I reported it. It was terrible for the family, but as a writer, being in the middle of it was a stroke of luck.” “The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty” was praised for its stellar research, which included 500 hours of interviews. The book, which came out in 2007, has just been optioned for the third time, which means we may yet see a film version. The legal vetting for that book, however, was rigorous in the extreme, and Siler didn’t feel like repeating the experience with her next book, which began with an interest in California’s powerful Spreckels family. With its huge sugar-beet operations, it dominated the economy and politics of the Hawaiian Islands. “And as I started learning more about Hawaiian history, I came to realize that American history could lay claim to one true royal family: the kings and queens who once ruled Hawaii. “I loved learning about that world. It was so luscious,” Siler says. “The characters were bigger than life.” And her life was less fraught than in previous years. “There

nightstand reading Amsterdam, by Ian McEwan, one of my favorite novelists The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel, given to me by author Amy Tan at an authors’ holiday book swap The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson. I worked in the Chicago bureau of the New York Times at the same time Wilkerson was there, in the early ’90s, and have been an admirer of her work ever since. Charlie Wilson’s War, by George Crile. One of my favorite nonfiction books, lent to several friends over the years, well before it was made into a movie. Bidwell’s Travels: Wall Street to London Prison, by George Bidwell. I couldn’t resist buying the 1895 edition at a book sale in Connecticut last summer. Arabic-English Visual Bilingual Dictionary, a Dorling Kindersley book I purchased before a trip to Morocco last year

Siler continues on Page 78

favorite hiking trails and bike rides

Courtesy Julia Flynn Siler

Crown Road, Kentfield Great for walking [her dog] Darice

Siler and Her Royal Highness Princess Abigail Kawananakoa, direct descendant of the last queen of Hawaii, at a book tour event in Honolulu.

Dry Creek Road, Sonoma One of our family’s favorite bike rides Tennessee Valley Trail From Mill Valley to the beach Hiking anywhere in Point Reyes As much for the wonderful après-hiking eats nearby as for the hikes themselves

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Women & Wine



of wine Like the essential little black dress, a few go-to wines let you build your signature style

Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Thinkstock

By Leslie Sbrocco

Just as you pull together outfits to reflect your style, you can build a wardrobe of wines to please your palate. Start with the basics, then layer and accessorize. From classic picks to exotic and less-recognized wines that add sparkle to your staples, creating a wine wardrobe is deliciously simple. The following suggestions are good in any vintage.

Leslie Sbrocco is the author of “Wine for Women: A Guide to Buying, Pairing, and Sharing Wine” and founder of

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Women & Wine whites Chardonnay: Wine’s basic black What’s not to love about black? It’s classy, slimming – and you keep buying more. The same is true of Chardonnay. Crafted in styles from light to lush with only about 125 calories a glass, it’s America’s most popular wine for a reason. From elegantly crisp versions that pair with Brie to creamy, fleshy ones to match grilled salmon, there are shelves full of choices.

Places: Iconic spots planted with the grape variety Chardonnay are the Burgundy region of France and throughout California. The latter versions are often noted for their ripe fruit flavors and kiss of oak barrel aging, while French styles lean toward lightness. Tastes:

Classic Picks • Beringer, Napa Valley, California, $17-$20 • Ponzi, Willamette Valley, Oregon, $18-$22 • Joseph Drouhin “Puligny-Montrachet” Burgundy, France, $48-$53 Avant-garde Options • Felton Road, Central Otago, New Zealand, $34-$36 • Patz & Hall, Sonoma Coast, California, $33-$36 • Antinori “Cervaro della Sala” Umbria, Italy, $48-$52

Accessorize: If you like Chardonnay, try Grenache Blanc. A unique white variety hailing from northeastern Spain and southern France, this full-bodied, spicy dry wine is one to watch for in California, too. Try Tablas Creek from Paso Robles and Beckmen “Le Bec Blanc” from Santa Ynez Valley.

Riesling: The dressy wine Autumn in the Bay Area is usually the best weather of the year, perfect for racy Riesling. With zesty freshness, floral aromas and flavors that span the spectrum from bone-dry to delicately sweet, Riesling is the ideal sip to ring in fall. Whether pairing alongside fiery Latin fare or sausages topped with spicy mustard, it’s as versatile as your favorite frock.

Places: Germany’s Mosel region produces ethereal, sweeter versions, while France’s Alsace area begets richer, drier bottlings. Australia’s Clare and Eden valleys produce bonedry, citrus-scented wines. Washington and New York states are home to a rainbow of Riesling styles. Tastes:

Classic Picks • Dr. Konstantin Frank “Dry Riesling,” Finger Lakes, New York, $14-$17 • Chateau Ste. Michelle “Eroica,” Columbia Valley, Washington, $20-$22 • Dr. Loosen “Blue Slate,” Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany, $20-$22 Avant-garde Options • Wolf Blass “Gold Label,” Clare Valley, Australia, $18-$22 • Grosset-Hill Smith “Mesh,” Eden Valley, Australia, $20-$22 • Craggy Range “Te Muna” Riesling, Martinborough, New Zealand, $20-$22


If you like Riesling, try Moscato – a lightly sweet, lemony sip that’s lower in alcohol and often slightly frizzante. Well-regarded wines come from northern Italy and are called Moscato d’Asti. Look for bottles from Marchesi de Gresy, Batasiolo or Michele Chiarlo.


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PAIRS A good wine is even better with food that enhances and complements. Napa-based cookbook author and food and wine writer Jill Silverman Hough couldn’t agree more: She created simple, mouthwatering recipes to pair with specific wines in her books “100 Perfect Pairings: Small Plates to Enjoy With Wines You Love” (Wiley, 2010) and “100 Perfect Pairings: Main Dishes to Enjoy With Wines You Love” (Wiley, 2011). A few choice excerpts:

WITH RIESLING Seafood and Andouille Jambalaya From “100 Perfect Pairings: Main Dishes to Enjoy With Wines You Love” Jambalaya might sound exotic — and it does have deliciously haunting flavors — but it’s basically a simple, one-pot meal that, after a little chop­ping and cutting, comes together quickly and cleans up even more so. Serves 6 to 8 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 9 to 12 ounces cooked andouille sausage, halved lengthwise and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch slices 2 stalks celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice 1 onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice 4 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press or minced 2½ cups reduced-sodium chicken broth One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme 4½ teaspoons smoked paprika 4½ teaspoons coarse kosher salt ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper 1½ cups white long-grain rice 12 ounces large, raw, peeled shrimp, preferably with tail on 12 ounces bay scallops or sea scallops, halved or quartered if very large In a medium stockpot over medium heat, warm the butter and olive oil. Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the celery and bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occa­sionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 1 minute. Stir in the broth, tomatoes (with their juices), thyme, paprika, salt and cayenne, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Stir in the rice, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until the rice is almost tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in the shrimp and scallops, cover and cook until the seafood is cooked through and the liquid is almost all absorbed, about 4 minutes. Serve hot. Copyright Jill Silverman Hough. All rights reserved.

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Women & Wine Sauvignon Blanc: The crisp white shirt An impeccably pressed white shirt under a jacket or atop a pair of jeans is the fashion equivalent of Sauvignon Blanc. With bracing vibrancy and aromas of green apples and fresh herbs, you can smell sunshine in the glass. Sauvignon Blanc marries beautifully with fresh-from-the-garden salads or rounds of goat cheese.

Places: New Zealand’s Marlborough region is famed for its pungent, sassy savvies, as they’re dubbed in Kiwi country, while France’s historic Loire Valley spots Pouilly-Fumé and Sancerre are also planted with Sauvignon Blanc. California’s fruit-driven versions (some called Fumé Blanc) express the state’s warm climate. Tastes:

Classic Picks • Robert Mondavi Fumé Blanc, Napa Valley, California, $18-$20 • Villa Maria “Cellar Selection,” Marlborough, New Zealand, $17-$20 • Pascal Jolivet Sancerre, France, $19-$21 Avant-garde Options • Middle Sister “Surfer Chick,” California, $10-$13 • Casa Marin “Cartegna,” San Antonio, Chile, $16-$18 • Efeste “Feral,” Columbia Valley, Washington, $20-$22

Accessorize: If you like Sauvignon Blanc, try Albarino. Hailing from northwestern Spain’s Rias Baixas region, this grape variety produces crisp yet fleshy whites ideal for shellfish. Seek out Fillaboa, Vionta and Martin Codax.

reds Cabernet Sauvignon: The classic suit Whether it’s the designer version or inexpensive but well-built, a classic suit gives structure and sophistication to your wardrobe. Cabernet Sauvignon is powerful yet plush, and because of its palate-cleansing grip of tannins (the healthy component in red wines that lets them age well), it’s the ideal pairing for a power lunch of filet mignon.


An equal-opportunity grape that thrives in a variety of climates, Cabernet is planted worldwide. From its home in the blends of France’s Bordeaux area to its perch in the Golden State’s Napa and Sonoma valleys, Cab is king. But don’t miss versions from Chile and the sunny reaches of western Australia.


Classic Picks • Silver Oak, Alexander Valley, California, $70-$75 • Louis Martini, Napa Valley, California, $30-$32 • Chateau Greysac, Medoc, Bordeaux, France, $18-$22 Avant-garde Options • Leeuwin Estate “Art Series,” Margaret River, western Australia, $46-$48 • Simi “Landslide Vineyard,” Alexander Valley, California, $30-$35 • Montes, Colchagua Valley, Chile, $12-$15

Accessorize: If you like Cabernet Sauvignon, try another hearty red, Malbec. Part of the blend in Bordeaux’s reds (along with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petite Verdot), Malbec has become a star in Argentina. Check out Argentinian Malbec from Alamos by Catena, Bodega Colomé and Massimo.


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WITH CABERNET SAUVIGNON Focaccia With CoffeePepper Dipping Oil From “100 Perfect Pairings: Small Plates to Enjoy with Wines You Love” You know how when you go to a nice, often Italian restaurant, they pour a little something into a shallow bowl for you to dip your bread into? This recipe is an enhanced version of one of those dipping sauces, the slight bitterness of the coffee making it especially perfect for Cabernet Sauvignon. Serves 4 to 6 ½ cup extra virgin olive oil 2 teaspoons coarsely ground unflavored coffee beans 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard Half of a 9-by-12-inch loaf focaccia bread, homemade or store-bought, for serving In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the olive oil, coffee and pepper. When the mixture is almost at a simmer, remove the saucepan from the heat. Set aside to steep for 10 minutes. Whisk in the soy sauce and mustard. (You can prepare the dipping sauce up to 2 days in advance, storing it covered in the refrigerator. Return to room temperature before serving.) Cut the focaccia into about 1-by-4 1/2-inch strips. Serve the dipping sauce in shallow bowls on the side.

Copyright Jill Silverman Hough. All rights reserved.

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Women & Wine Pinot Noir: Sexy satin Pinot Noir is my favorite red. It’s silky, sleek, sexy – the same feeling you get when slipping into a satin nightgown. With an elegance that’s the hallmark of the grape variety, it’s an ideal red to pair with fish, as it won’t overwhelm. But because of Pinot’s telltale vibrancy, it’s also a wine that will match spicy cuisine.

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Places: The finicky grape (thin skinned, hence its lighter color) only grows well in select places. Anchored as the red variety producing the great wines of the Burgundy region of France, it’s also risen to prominence in California’s cooler reaches of Carneros, Russian River, Monterey and Santa Maria Valley, and Oregon’s Willamette Valley. It’s also a rising star in New Zealand, South Africa and even coastal Chile. Tastes:

Classic Picks • Irony, Monterey, California, $14-$16 • Elk Cove, Willamette Valley, Oregon, $25-$28 • Domaine de la Vougeraie, Gevrey-Chambertin, Burgundy, France, $45$48 Avant-garde Options • Solomon Hills, Santa Maria Valley, California, $55-$58 • Cameron Hughes, Russian River Valley, California, $15-$17 • Hamilton Russell, Walker Bay, South Africa, $45$48


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If you like Pinot Noir’s elegance, try Chianti/Sangiovese. Chianti is a region in Tuscany, and the whole area is planted primarily with the grape variety Sangiovese, which produces wines of depth yet delicacy. Don’t miss affordable Banfi “Centine,” Antinori “Peppoli” Chianti Classico and Ornellaia’s “Le Volte” blend.

Merlot: The cashmere of wine You know the feeling of draping a luxurious cashmere scarf over your shoulders: It makes you feel special. The same is true of Merlot. When you sip a well-made bottle that showcases the succulent, stylish nature of the grape, it can be a special experience.

Places: An early-ripening grape, Merlot leans toward refinement in Bordeaux’s right bank areas of Pomerol and St. Emilion. Domestically, Long Island in New York is known for Merlot, and California sports famous versions, but Washington State’s warm/cold Columbia Valley is the star spot. Tastes:

Classic Picks • Northstar, Columbia Valley, Washington, $35-$38 • Shafer, Napa Valley, California, $46$48 • Chateau Clinet, Pomerol, Bordeaux, France, $70-$72 Avant-garde Options • Wölffer Estate, Long Island, New York, $20-$22 • Bonterra (made with organic grapes), Mendocino County, California, $14-$16 • Buty, Merlot/Cabernet Franc, Columbia Valley, Washington, $40-$42


If you like Merlot, try Syrah – a spicy red with full-bodied flair. The grape’s most well-known expression is Australian Shiraz, but its home is in France’s Rhône Valley. Try French versions from Chapoutier, and California picks such as Miraflores Syrah from El Dorado foothills and Paso Robles’ Justin Winery’s “Savant” blend. From Australia, don’t miss Shiraz from iconic producer Penfolds, or Shingleback’s Sparkling Shiraz.

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Women & Wine

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WITH MERLOT White Cheddar With Wine-Soaked Cherries and Herbs From “100 Perfect Pairings: Small Plates to Enjoy With Wines You Love” This is an incredible — and an incredibly easy — dish, one that beautifully dresses up a familiar and easily accessible cheese. Serve it at a party or a picnic, or as an afternoon snack with your favorite bottle of Merlot.

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Serves 4 ¹/³ cup Merlot, or other dry red wine 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence ¼ teaspoon coarse kosher salt ²/³ cup dried Bing or other sweet (not tart) dried cherries, coarsely chopped 8 ounces medium-sharp white Cheddar cheese Whole wheat crackers, for serving

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In a medium glass or stain-resistant plastic container, combine the wine, olive oil, vinegar, herbes de Provence and salt, whisking to dissolve the salt. Add the cherries, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 days, stirring occasionally. (You can refrigerate the cherry mixture for up to a week, stirring occasionally.) Place the cheese on a platter and let it and the cherry mixture come to room temperature. Spoon the cherry mixture over and around the cheese. Serve with the crackers on the side.



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FALL 2012 • Scene


home & design

fire power Burning passion leads to eco-friendly portable fireplaces By Carolyn Snyder

John Foxx/Stockbyte/Thinkstock

Lucky us: Seasonal weather in the Bay Area means outdoor entertaining should continue full-tilt for the next few months. But in a nod to the impending fall, we propose adding a scene-setting, ever-so-trendy portable fireplace to your garden or patio. They’re not so big that they overwhelm, yet they’re still able to provide mesmerizing flames and comforting warmth. Fueled by bioethanol, portable fireplaces are ventless, smokeless and environmentally friendly. The alcohol-based fuel, be it liquid or gel, burns cleanly, creating a real flame and a crackling noise – just like wood but without the smoke. And there’s the gratification of an instant fire with no mess. They move with relative ease from indoors to out – handy when you’re ready to pull the party inside – and range in size from tabletop models to statement-makers. Prices start at $19.99 for a tabletop ceramic fire pot at Orchard Supply Hardware to upward of $2,000.*


* A 24-pack of gel fuel (13-ounce cans) starts at $68.24 and is widely available online and in stores; each can burns up to 2½ hours. Twelve 1-quart bottles of Brasa fuel online costs $60; each bottle provides up to two hours of bright flames.

Scene • FALL 2012 

visual sizzle The sleek 4-foot-tall cone-shaped Hausfire by Modfire is designed to direct heat and provide a modern centerpiece for your indoor or outdoor space. The Eco-smart burner uses ethanol, puts out a toasty 5,800 BTUs and is seated in a bowl of beautiful fireglass. In natural steel or Ultralounge White, Avocado, Azure, Maraschino or Tangerine. $2,250. ABA Hearth and Home, 1499 Laurel St., San Carlos, or

lantern light Extend your outdoor living season and enjoy a real fire in the “Sierra” from Real Flame. The 29-inch-tall unit is made from powder-coated steel, glass and hand-painted cast concrete and comes with decorative lava rock and a protective cover. A slide-out drawer holds up to four cans of gel fuel. $299.; also sold at Home Depot, Target, OSH and other stores

angle of repose New Orleans-based Brasa Fire’s “Camden” has a unique asymmetrical shape. A glass backing means you can place the portable unit against a wall. It comes with a Slim Burner with Brasa home fragrance system, long lighter and control wand tool. 23.75 inches high by 20 inches wide by 10.5 inches deep. In silver or slate. $585., and other online vendors

FALL 2012 • Scene


home & design

Hospice Care We care not only for the mind, body and spirit of patients like Steve, but of their family and loved ones, like his daughter Linda. Contact us anytime, or ask your physician for a no-obligation referral.

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floating island German manufacturer Buschbeck is renowned for its bioethanol fireboxes. The “Boston” from the Fire Dance series by designer Michael Grebe provides up to four hours of romantic “fire art” indoors or out. The black-finished steel and glass unit weighs 38 pounds and measures 17.5 inches high by 29.5 inches wide by 12.5 inches deep. $799.99.


fired up Enliven any space with this Wesley Indoor/Outdoor Portable Fireplace, which fits conveniently on a patio, floor or table and provides instant relaxation. It holds two cans of gel fuel to provide a rich, fiery glow (each can lasts up to three hours on a single burn and puts off up to 3,000 BTUs). 20.25 inches high by 24 inches wide by 8.25 inches deep. $113.99.

Novato Chevrolet Is

One of the Top Selling Dealers In The Nation Selling Volts.


2012 VOLTS tranquility hearth This fanciful name is an apt description for works of art created by Jamil Khayrulin, co-owner of Great American Framing in Palo Alto, from slate, marble, wood, copper and brass. Used as a table centerpiece, the hearth burns cleaner than candles, according to Khayrulin. And it provides a cozy ambience for romantic evenings or dramatic flair for your next party. 20 pounds. $500 and up. Great American, 229 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto, or

At A Glance Electric Drive With Extended Range (Gas) 35 Miles Gas-Free1 Up To 375 Total Miles On A Full Charge And Full Tank1 A 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score For Safety From Nhtsa2 16-Kwh Battery With 8-Year/100,000-Mile Battery And Voltec™ Component Warranty3

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There are many reasons to move from the boardroom to the classroom. But none are as compelling as the eager young mind seated across from you. Your only qualification is that you enjoy kids and want to help them succeed in school. You bring your interest, we’ll provide workshops that hone your tutoring skills. We only ask that you commit to one hour per week. We’ve placed volunteers in more than 40 schools in Marin County. But there’s still a long list of teachers waiting for a volunteer, and a child waiting for someone like you. For more information, go to or call us at 415-499-5896. Monday - Saturday 8:30 am - 6:30 pm w w w. m c s v. o r g


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in the garden

Rebecca Sweet

Vertical gardens make walls – and fences – come alive

grow up! Up-front planning, careful construction and maintenance are key to wall gardens.

By Joan Jackson

Gardening is reaching new heights — literally — thanks to a surging interest in vertical gardens. It’s not just a matter of space. The aesthetics of a vertical garden, and its versatility indoors and out, make it an appealing choice whether you live in a cramped apartment or an airy abode. A “living wall” of succulents and ferns in your home can be a dramatic focal point. An outdoors garden planted with lettuce, strawberries or other edibles can provide both beauty and sustenance. Some vertical gardens are easy enough: Simply stack planters against a wall or fence, starting with the largest planter on the bottom and working up three or four levels with progressively smaller planters. (Be sure to attach them to the wall or fence with bolts or anchor them with stakes.) Others require more creativity and care. Try repurposing a wooden pallet, often found at supermarkets or garden centers. Use a staple gun to fix a large piece of landscape fabric (not plastic) to the back, sides and across the bottom of the pallet, with secure squared corners. Then lay it flat on the ground, fabric side down. Use two large bags of quality potting soil to fill the pallet, tamping down the soil between the slats so there are no air holes or missed space. For a normal-size pallet, you will need 16 six-packs of herbs, compact flowers, bush-type vegetables and whatever else catches your fancy. Leave it flat on the ground for two or three weeks so the plants can spread their roots and grab hold of the soil.

FALL 2012 • Scene


in the garden

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Scene • FALL 2012 

Then tip the pallet against your wall, fence or balcony space. Water gently to avoid washing away soil, and make sure plants toward the bottom get their share of moisture. Ready-made vertical garden systems may be best for indoor spaces. GSky Plant Systems, Plants on Walls, Bright Green and Woolly Pocket, among others, offer a range of options, from high-tech stainless steel and automatic drip watering to flexible and modular containers made from recycled plastic bottles. The Pocket system, for example, includes a moisture barrier to protect floor and wall, and hardware to hang the system. The recommendation is three six-inch pots per Pocket, which are about 22 inches wide and 15 inches high. You can use just one Pocket for a single interesting accent, or a dozen or more to cover a full wall. Depending on the amount of light available, this could include herbs, succulents, compact vegetables or flowers. Pockets include a self-watering reservoir and water wicking system. Experts caution that a living wall, particularly indoors, is not for the lackadaisical. As Bay Area authors and über-gardeners Susan Morrison and Rebecca Sweet note in their 2011 book,

A living wall, particularly indoors, is not for the lackadaisical. In fact, it's an ongoing commitment.

“Garden Up! Smart Vertical Gardening for Small and Large Spaces”: “In addition to the meticulous up-front planning and careful construction of your living wall, maintenance is key. Ensuring that the irrigation system is functioning correctly and monitoring the health of the plants requires an ongoing commitment.” The benefits of bringing green into your home, however, are obvious, and some report that caring for a vertical garden adds a Zen quality to their lives. So grow up!


FALL 2012 • Scene


Accidents happen. Don’t wait to get the proper care.

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CPOSM accepts all major insurances and is a Brown and Toland provider.


Scene • FALL 2012 

415-461-6226 Mon. - Fri. 10am - 7pm • Sat. 10am - 6pm

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Santa Barbara is both splendid and sweet

queen coast of the

By Katharine Fong

David M. Schrader/iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Santa Barbara has always been a magnet for Bay Area vacationers seeking a SoCal getaway that’s manageable: a picturesque, eminently walkable and bikeable town with a temperate climate, sweet parks and beaches, culture, shopping, excellent wineries and food. Not to mention its lush, jewel-like setting between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Whether you’re in the mood for romance, keeping the kids busy or yearning for a touch of luxe or adventure, Santa Barbara has something for you. So go ahead, make plans for fall on “the American Riviera.”

FALL 2012 • Scene


Courtesy Santa Barbara Conference & Visitors Bureau and Film Commission


Take a walk at the harbor, where the breakwater is paved all the way around.

for romantics Stroll Santa Barbara Harbor at sunset; before or after, try the spicy oyster shooters at Brophy Brothers ( Another sunset hotspot: Butterfly Beach. Explore the Funk Zone, east of State Street near the waterfront, and SoCo (south of Cota), also east and just south of State; both neighborhoods boast an eclectic mix of artists’ studios and galleries, surf shops, wine tasting rooms, live-music venues and more. Check out Olio e Limone ( for sophisticated Italian food and a well-stocked wine cellar, or its more casual salumi-and-winebar sister next door at Olio Pizzeria (; the latter’s breaded cauliflower and artichoke hearts, and dramatic black ink calamari, are exceptional. Orchid Inn ( — Orchids everywhere, even on breakfast plates. Manager Francine Talmadge keeps them in perfect bloom with a tub soak and thorough draining every three weeks. Eight charming, intimate rooms; chat with other guests at the communal breakfast table.


Scene • FALL 2012 

Artist Greg Ray, above, carves sculptural pieces in his palapa in Santa Barbara's Funk Zone. The Orchid Inn, below, features the blooms everywhere.

out of town Bacara Resort & Spa, Miro restaurant (bacararesort. com) in Goleta. Superb, 42,000-square-foot spa features 60 different treatments, fitness classes, tasty cafe. Sunday brunch at Miro is an orgy of seafood, meats, salads, fruits, cheeses and charcuterie, made-to-order omelets and waffles, and over-the-top desserts. Wine country. Four official appellations and more than 180 wineries; home to the region’s famed varietals. A 30- to 45-minute drive from downtown. (Or just hit the Urban Wine Trail,, a cluster of tasting rooms in town.)

Courtesy El Capitan Canyon

Lotusland ( in Montecito. Made real by 1920s Polish opera star Madame Ganna Walska; 37 acres of exuberant greenery, including rare plants.

Above, an El Capitan Canyon yurt lets you get closer to nature without sacrificing comfort. Below, lounge beside Bacara’s two saline-filled, ocean-view pools.

Root 246 restaurant ( in Solvang. Chef Bradley Ogden now calls the Santa Ynez Valley home; his New American menu draws locals and visitors alike. El Capitan Canyon ( offers "nature lodging," from a luxe two-bedroom cabin with full kitchen, fireplace and sweeping views to spacious yurts with comfy beds. All include a firepit with grill and picnic table. Free beach cruisers, pool; wireless access.

FALL 2012 • Scene


Jay Sinclair


Old Mission Santa Barbara

family fun Picnic and play at Chase Palm Park along the shore, Leadbetter and Miramar beaches. Ty Warner Sea Center ( at Stearns Wharf is small and hands-on for kids who want to reach out and touch ocean life. Maritime Museum ( Older kids will like the permanent multimedia exhibit “Surf’s Up!”, homage to Santa Barbara’s surfing history and culture. La Super-Rica, 622 N. Milpas St. Julia Childs’ fave local restaurant. Join the line out the door, try the #16 especial: pork, cheese and green peppers on soft, fluffy tortillas.


111 Interior/Exterior furniture, accessories, textiles, lighting, floor coverings


Scene • FALL 2012 

Hotel Oceana ( A prime location across from the beach near Stearns Wharf. Free bicycle cruisers, two pools and complimentary breakfast with hardboiled eggs, cheese, ham and fruit. Cafe Stella ( Booths perfect for families; kids’ menu includes an ice cream sandwich with vanilla ice cream between two chocolate chip cookies. Yummy sliders and a dog patio.

culture Old Mission Santa Barbara (, founded in 1786, and nearby Santa Barbara Natural History Museum ( Santa Barbara County Courthouse, a National Historic Landmark; climb its 85-foot clocktower for a panoramic view and admire the luscious sunken garden. (The courthouse is a stop on the Red Tile Walking Tour, a 12-block, self-guided tour of 22 architectural and historic landmarks.)

Jay Sinclair

The renovated Granada Theatre ( downtown books local and global performing artists and will host the Santa Barbara Symphony’s opening gala on Oct. 20. Love concerts al fresco? See the Black Keys at the Santa Barbara Bowl ( on Oct. 2.

The Granada Theatre, above, and the Hotel Oceana’s complimentary bicycle cruisers, below.

shopping Diani, Dressed and Ready for women’s fashions, K. Frank for men, women and children, in Santa Barbara; Angel and Wendy Foster in tony Montecito. Plus gorgeous jewelry and home décor boutiques. FALL 2012 • Scene




Now accepting Fall & Winter consignments

Eric Shiftlett

Marin’s finest resale clothing boutique

Outdoor concerts at the Santa Barbara Bowl.

Open Monday-Saturday 10 am-5 pm Consignment taken from Tuesday thru Saturday 10 am-3 pm

mark your calendar

415-456-7309 A Month to Savor Santa Barbara,, Oct. 1-31. A month of culinary festivals, cooking classes, winemaker dinners, gallery-noshing and more.

11 Mary Street, San Rafael Next to Whole Foods & Peet’s Coffee

The California Avocado Festival, avofest. com, Oct. 5-7 Harbor Festival,, Oct. 13 Santa Barbara County Celebration of Harvest,, Oct. 13

get around

Jay Sinclair

Downtown’s main artery is State Street. Along the waterfront on Cabrillo Boulevard is a popular bike/walking path. Rent a bike, trike or Segway from one of the myriad vendors; hop the Downtown or Waterfront shuttle for 50 cents.


Scene • FALL 2012 

Santa Barbara encourages – and rewards – car-free tourism. See for info.

wine on the way The Central Coast is home to one of the state’s top wine-producing regions By Bonnie Wach

Just north of Santa Barbara is the Central Coast, with more than 180 wineries and a winemaking history that dates back to 1790. Drive the Highway 46 wine route from Cambria to Paso Robles, a gently winding byway that meanders over grassy hills and past rows of verdant vineyards. Here are suggestions for a few wine-anddine stops – most wineries are open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; tasting fees vary. Turley Wine Cellars (turleywinecellars. com) — One of the early champions of Zinfandel in the region; turns out big, brash zins from vines that date back 80 years.

5 Petaluma Blvd. North * Downtown Petaluma * 707-763-6053 * facebook/hollingsworthjewelers

Cypher Winery ( — Tucked behind Farmstand 46 (a perfect spot for a farm-to-table picnic lunch; try The Badger, a pressed panini of roasted squash, eggplant, red peppers, tomatoes, onions and goat cheese), it focuses on “freakshow” wines and unconventional Rhône blends. If it’s available, try the Eclectic Red, a blend of Portuguese varietals, Carignane, Petite Verdot and Petite Sirah. Shale Oak Winery ( — A recent addition to the region, it’s a small, sustainably run winery housed in a building straight out of a Mondrian painting. Produces small-batch Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Pipestone Vineyards ( — This family-run organic winery is part of a fun renegade group of “Far Out” wineries ( Rhône-style wines made from Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre come from vineyards farmed by hand using draft horses. Summerwood ( — Set in a gracious whitewashed estate that also includes a nine-room inn, it features locally grown Rhône varietals such as Viognier, Syrah and Diosa Blanc — a blend of Roussanne, Viognier and Marsanne.

Come Visit Our Showroom 125-F Mitchell Blvd., San Rafael

(415) 472-6004

CCL #627224 FALL 2012 • Scene


San Anselmo Optometry Complete Eye Exams | Prescription Eyewear and Sunglasses

634 San Anselmo Ave., San Anselmo



icons SILER continued from Page 49

was a time in London when I was working 50-hour weeks,” Siler remembers. “Charlie was working 50-hour weeks, I was traveling all across Europe, we had a full-time nanny, the kids were both under 5 – that was insane. And with the Mondavi book, there were times when it seemed like a lot: I flew to Italy to research the family, went to New York a couple of times. …” So how does she balance everything? “When the kids need it, they get the focus,” she says. “It hasn’t always worked perfectly. When the boys were young, we had to hire sitters; I’d be gone weekends and miss soccer. … Luckily, Charlie is really an involved dad. I don’t regret having worked so hard, but the boys are growing up so quickly. I think it’s all a tradeoff. I don’t know anyone who gets it exactly right.” Then again, she does have two sons “who are happy, healthy and doing well in school.” Come the fall, both will be attending The Urban School of San Francisco. She has Charlie, whose band, Tam Junction, practices at their house most weekends. (The group is good enough for gigs at places like the Sausalito Seahorse and the Marin Home and Garden Expo.) And, when she’s not sharing her with the Guide Dogs, she has Darice.

First Sunday of Every Month, 11am to 4pm * Over 40 Artists in 3 Buildings * Museum Galleries * Museum Store Visit the Artists of Novato Arts Center and Marin Museum of Contemporary Art at Historic Hamilton Field: 500, 501 Palm Dr. & 781 Hamilton Parkway Novato, California For more information, please visit us at


Scene • FALL 2012 

Julia Flynn Siler gets encouraging attention from Darice, her “therapy dog,” during long hours in her office. FALL 2012 • Scene


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Subject to borrower and property qualification. Not all applicants will qualify. All loan products and terms are subject to change without notice. This is not an offer for an extension of credit or a commitment to lend. Provident Savings Bank, F.S.B., NMLS #449980 FALL 2012 • Scene


THE INSIDER KIDS continued from Page 19

all for you

the bottom line Beauty reviews you’ll want to read

Scene tests beauty product for weeks at a time so you don’t have to: Is it just hype or a real find? Does it work for our skin type, age group, lifestyle? Is it worth the money? Nuance Salma Hayek Tinted Eye Brightener, with blue agave, lemon extracts, caffeine, Vitamin C. $14.99 for 0.11 ounce, at CVS pharmacy. “Helps minimize the appearance of wrinkles, puffiness and dark circles.”

Zoo Cute! We’re wild about these cutiepatootie creatures from Japonesque Baby, based in San Ramon. Among the highlights? Hippo hairbrushes, alligator combs, penguin nail clippers and monkey safety scissors. $5.50$16.50,

Application: “I’m fair-skinned, in my 30s and occasionally get dark circles after a late night. The formula was lightweight, went on easily and seemed to make the skin under my eyes look smoother and brighter.” Bottom line: “I would use this whenever I skip makeup and just want to look fresh. When I wear makeup, though, this is an extra step that I often don’t have time for.”

Miracle Skin Transformer SPF 20 Face, with ecophysalis, saw palmetto extract, passion fruit oil, CO Enzyme Q10, vitamins K, A and E. $48 for 1.7 fluid ounces, at Sephora. “5-in-1 tinted skin enhancer designed to hydrate, prime, enhance, mattify and protect.” Application: “My skin is sallow, with uneven tone. Initially this felt dry and chalky, as if I should have used moisturizer first. But after a few weeks the weather grew warmer and my skin turned oilier, so the cream went on nicely and blended well.” Bottom line: “Saves time in the morning. The tinted coverage is a little thin. You can use more to ‘build coverage and customize your look,’ but it still didn’t quite hide my hyperpigmentation.”

Eco Apparel The Green Creation has carved a niche for itself as the local supplier of non-toxic, 100-percent certified organic clothing (think one-of-akind onesies, bibs, dresses and hooded robes). In addition, the Fremont-based company sells buttery-soft towels and reversible blankets for infants and toddlers. $4.99-$29.99, thegreencreation. com


Scene • FALL 2012 

Keranique Follicle-Boosting Serum, with peptide and stem cell technology. $29.95 for 2 fluid ounces, at “Strengthens and fortifies thinning hair. … Helps hair look thicker, fuller and shinier.” Application: “This and related products are marketed as an antiaging solution, and while my Asian hair is not exactly thin, I’m their target audience. Spritzed it on wet hair and scalp almost every day for a month or so, focusing on temples, sides and crown.” Bottom line: “My hair was definitely shinier, but later in the day also felt a tad oily. It also looked fuller, but was it from the serum bulking up individual strands, like Bumble and Bumble Thickening Spray, or helping ‘optimize the hair growth cycle’? I may try the entire system, which includes regrowth treatment.”


Lowell Tong, Maria Pitcairn, Music Director Alasdair Neale, Kate Akos, Harry Jacobs

Cherrie Boyer, Mary Janigian, Pat Small

Jodi Rabb, Tova Adelman-Gilbert, Jason Gilbert

out & about in marin Stuart Lirette

How many live auctions include a nine-day African safari? Guests at Marin Symphony’s annual Golf Tournament & Dinner, hosted by Rik Malone (of KDFC radio) at the Marin Country Club, bid on this and other goodies to raise more than $65,000 for the arts organization. Coming up: The opening night gala, Sunday, Oct. 28, following the first concert of the season.

Catherine Munson, Peter Thompson, Kathryn Thompson

William Gillmore Sr., Bob Karcher, Cathie Karcher, Jill Gillmore, William Gillmore Jr.

Todd Meyer, Melanie Love, Fran White, Steve Goldman

Greg Hall, Tim Harmon

Tim Pidgeon, Lynn O'Malley Taylor, Alice Pidgeon

David Rabb, Mary Rabb, Kathee Shatter, Peter B. Collins (KGO Radio)

FALL 2012 • Scene



Barb and Dave Green

Sandi Chin, Nancy Olson and Clark and Martha Nelson

Bob Brown, Connie Siegel and Fabia Butler

Ralph McLeran and Steve Emery

Bob and Alice Behray

John Miller and Bobbie Head

Julie Quater, Fran Perrulli and Marcia Ward

Mo DeLong

David and Erica Terry Derryck

Marin/Scapes, the annual art show and gala at Dominican University benefiting Buckelew Programs, Family Service Agency and The Helen Vine Recovery Center, presents works that showcase Marin’s beauty and spirit. Contributing artists/photographers included Kathleen Lipinski, Steve Emery, John McCormick and Davis Perkins. The exhibit and gala raised more than $100,000.


Mark Your Calendar

Sept. 22

Zero Breast Cancer Dipsea Hike Mill Valley, dipsea.

A special thank you to

Gail Petty Carolyn Snyder Mark Yamamoto

COMING SOON In the mood for romance!

In our holiday issue, publishing Nov. 16:

Impassioned fashion The art of romance writing Plus holiday giving, holiday living Join us at, and on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest at SceneBayArea


Scene • FALL 2012 

Sept. 22-23 iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Margie Barras Pat Danna Ed Eke Juliette Eke Eric L. Johnson Rudy Knight

The Esurance Tennis Classic at The Club at Harbor Point,

Sept. 30-Oct.1

Marin General Hospital Foundation annual golf tournament Silverado Resort & Spa,


Mill Valley Film Festival opening night film and gala,

Oct. 6

Ross Valley Women’s League 2012 fundraiser benefiting Adopt A Family,

Nov. 3

Hospice By The Bay Annual Ball San Rafael,

Like our Icons story (Page 46)? Send us your suggestion for a local profile and she just might make the Scene!

A New Kind of Happy Hour

Join your friends and discover exceptional & values at consignment



CORTE MADERA 801 Tamalpais Drive • 415-924-6691 San Carlos

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Marin Scene magazine Fall 2012  

Shape shifters, Fall's structured silhouettes, Portable fireplaces, Consignment shopping, Build a wine wardrobe

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